Temple Student Government hired a new director of local and community affairs for the academic year after the former one stepped down in September.
Tanjnia Hussain wants to revisit some ways TSG engages with the community, like creating panels that involve residents, experts and student organizations. She is working to increase voter turnout in the 2020 primary elections among Temple students, high school students and residents, she said.
TSG also hosted a community forum earlier this semester, but no residents attended, said Kaya Jones, TSG’s vice president of external affairs. TSG has not discussed Hussain’s plans to add panels to its community outreach, but it is considering sending its directors to community meetings to engage with residents, Jones added.
TSG held two block cleanups and handed out candy to children on Halloween, too. They will also host another community forum on Thursday at Treehouse Books on Susquehanna Avenue near 15th Street.
The Editorial Board commends TSG for hosting some events this semester, but community outreach coordination seems disjointed. Its members have a lot of ideas, but TSG has yet to implement new, meaningful ways to engage with the community this year.
We hope TSG sends its directors into the community, whether it be to attend community meetings or to knock on doors to speak with residents directly.
Residents’ voices need to be heard, and TSG can be an effective liaison between them and the university. But this won’t happen until TSG comes up with a comprehensive community engagement plan and implements it because the usual methods don’t seem to be working.